South Africa

Published: Friday 28 February 1997

The use of a drug -- Virodene p058 -- developed by a group of Pretoria-based medical researchers and claimed to have produced an anti-aids drug which they believe could turn out to be a cure for the dreaded disease, have been stalled. Although the patients on whom the drug has been tested claim that their conditions improved considerably shortly after the drug's administration, the government has ordered the drug's potentials to be tested before further use.

The doctors belonging to the Pretoria University gave a special demonstration to the South African cabinet where the two patients were also present.

One of the most dramatic trial results that the scientists claimed to encounter was that Virodene could apparently retrieve full-blown aids cases. The elated scientists informed the cabinet that more research was needed to assert Virodene as a proper cure and asked for a grant of 3.7 million rand (us $790,000) for further research. The drug has been patented by Olga Visser, who discovered its anti-viral properties, and cardiothoracic surgents Dirk Du Pleiss and Kallie Landauer.

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